The British automaker McLaren, which specializes in sports car design, on Wednesday denied the Financial Times‘ reports alleging of ongoing talks with US tech giant Apple for the acquisition of the car-maker.
We can confirm that McLaren is not in discussions with Apple regarding any potential investment, said a spokesman for McLaren in an email.
The Financial Times had reported earlier that Apple had made contact with the British manufacturer, and is considering either a complete takeover of McLaren or a strategic investment in the company’s capital, one of the most prestigious stables in Formula 1.
Asked about the report, a spokesman for Apple has told journalists that the Cupertino juggernaut does not comment on rumors or speculation.
However, faced with slowing sales of the iPhone, its flagship product, Apple has more than ever the need for a new revolutionary product. Recurring rumors have mentioned the company’s ambitions to get in the car business, with a secret project that would have been named Titan.
Apple has never confirmed the existence of “Project Titan” but CEO Tim Cook had made a series of comments to fuel speculation during the presentation of the latest quarterly results.
In early September, the New York Times had reported that Apple had lowered its ambitions for the car industry, laying off staff working on the secret project.
According to a source quoted by the NY Times, Apple reportedly told its employees that the layoffs were part of a reset of the project: instead of seeking to design and produce a car, the company would focus on technologies that would allow vehicles to drive autonomously, without a driver, writes the American newspaper.
According to the New York Times, Apple started two years ago to actively poach veterans of the automotive industry, but also specialists in batteries or virtual visual recognition.
Several players in the technology sector are working on driverless cars, including Alphabet with Google or Uber, which has recently been working hard on the matter.